Heinemann Author Nancie Atwell Finalist for $1 Million Global Teacher Prize

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – Heinemann, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is pleased to announce that Nancie Atwell, author of In the Middle, is one of ten finalists for the inaugural $1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize. Considered by some to be “the Nobel Prize for teaching,” it will be given to an exceptional educator who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of learning.

Atwell and the other finalists were selected from a shortlist of 50 teachers following a yearlong nomination process that included over 5,000 candidates representing more than 100 countries. She will travel to Dubai for a prestigious award ceremony on March 15th, where the finalists will be celebrated and the winner announced by Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation, in front of world education leaders. If chosen as the winner, Atwell has pledged to donate the award to the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb, Maine, which she founded in 1990 and where she teaches writing, reading, and history.

Nancie Atwell is a highly respected educator in both the U.S. and abroad and has been a teacher since 1973. She has authored nine books, including In the Middle, which has influenced hundreds of thousands of teachers since its initial publication in 1987. Now in its third edition, In The Middle is considered one of the definitive titles on teaching literacy. Atwell has received the National Council of Teachers of English’s David H. Russell Award, the MLA Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize, and River of Words’ 2010 Teacher of the Year.

“I am convinced that teaching language arts is one of the great careers, demanding of time and energy, but meaning-filled, worthwhile, and interesting,” said Nancie Atwell.  “I get to demonstrate what is possible, teach what is useful, establish conditions that invite engagement, support the hard work of literary reading and writing, and enjoy the kinds of relationships with adolescents that drew me to education in the first place.”

“The Global Teacher’s Prize is a strong advocate for the professionalism of teaching,” said Vicki Boyd, Acting President, Heinemann. “Nancie Atwell’s nomination celebrates an innovative instructional approach that is child-centric and engages students in authentic reading and writing, which together build critical thinking skills and a stronger learning experience.”


About In the Middle, Third Edition (Heinemann, 2014):
In Atwell’s own words, “The third edition of In the Middle is everything I’ve learned over the past three decades that makes writing–reading workshop the only logical way to teach English.”

About Heinemann:
Heinemann provides professional resources and educational services for teachers, K–12. We support the professionalism and compassion of teachers as they help children become literate, empathetic, knowledgeable citizens. Our authors, exemplary educators eager to support their colleagues, have made us the leading publisher in our area. Heinemann is dedicated to teachers.

Heinemann is a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company with the mission of changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. Among the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses, HMH combines cutting-edge research, editorial excellence and technological innovation to improve teaching and learning environments and solve complex literacy and education challenges. HMH’s interactive, results-driven education solutions are utilized by more than 50 million students in over 150 countries, and its renowned and awarded novels, non-fiction, children's books and reference works are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.

Jennifer Berlin
Director, Corporate Communications
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

For more information about the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize: